JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court.
Respondent Kenneth Johnson was indicted by an Ohio grand jury for four offenses, ranging from murder to grand theft, as a result of the killing of Thomas Hill and the theft of property from Hill's apartment. Respondent offered to plead guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and grand theft, but pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and aggravated robbery. Over the State's objection, the trial court accepted the "guilty" pleas to the lesser offenses, and then granted respondent's motion to dismiss the two most serious charges on the ground that because of his guilty pleas, further prosecution on the more serious offenses was barred by the double jeopardy prohibitions of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. This judgment was affirmed on appeal through the Ohio state courts, and we granted certiorari. 465 U.S. 1004 (1984). We now reverse the judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio and hold that prosecuting respondent on the two more serious charges would not constitute the type of "multiple prosecution" prohibited by the Double Jeopardy Clause.
The Ohio Court of Appeals and then the Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed the decision of the trial court. 6 Ohio St.3d 420, 453 N.E.2d 595 (1983). The State Supreme Court held that in these circumstances aggravated robbery was an "allied offens[e] of similar import" to theft, id., at 422, 453 N. E. 2d, at 598,
We think the Supreme Court of Ohio was mistaken in its observation that "this case concerns the third double jeopardy protection prohibiting multiple punishments for the same offense." Id., at 421, 453 N. E. 2d, at 598.
As we have explained on numerous occasions, the bar to retrial following acquittal or conviction ensures that the State does not make repeated attempts to convict an individual, thereby exposing him to continued embarrassment, anxiety,
In contrast to the double jeopardy protection against multiple trials, the final component of double jeopardy — protection against cumulative punishments — is designed to ensure that the sentencing discretion of courts is confined to the limits established by the legislature. Because the substantive power to prescribe crimes and determine punishments is vested with the legislature, United States v. Wiltberger, 5 Wheat. 76, 93 (1820), the question under the Double Jeopardy Clause whether punishments are "multiple" is essentially one of legislative intent, see Missouri v. Hunter, 459 U.S. 359, 366-368 (1983).
We accept, as we must, the Ohio Supreme Court's determination that the Ohio Legislature did not intend cumulative punishment for the two pairs of crimes involved here. But before respondent can ever be punished for the offenses of murder and aggravated robbery he will first have to be found guilty of those offenses. The trial court's dismissal of these more serious charges did more than simply prevent the imposition of cumulative punishments; it halted completely the proceedings that ultimately would have led to a verdict of
Respondent urges, as an alternative basis for affirming the judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio, that further prosecution of the counts which were dismissed would violate the double jeopardy prohibition against multiple prosecutions. Brief for Respondent 17-18. He concedes that on the authority of our decision in Brown v. Ohio, supra, the State is not prohibited by the Double Jeopardy Clause from charging respondent with greater and lesser included offenses and prosecuting those offenses in a single trial. Brief for Respondent 7. But, he argues, his conviction and sentence on the charges of involuntary manslaughter and grand theft mean that further prosecution on the remaining offenses will implicate the double jeopardy protection against a second prosecution following conviction. The court below never had occasion to address this argument.
The answer to this contention seems obvious to us. Respondent was indicted on four related charges growing out of
Previously we have recognized that the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits prosecution of a defendant for a greater offense when he has already been tried and acquitted or convicted on the lesser included offense. See Brown v. Ohio, 432 U.S. 161 (1977). In Brown the State first charged the defendant with "joyriding," that is, operating an auto without the owner's consent. The defendant pleaded guilty to this charge and was sentenced. Subsequently, the State indicted the defendant for auto theft and joyriding, charges which this Court held were barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause, since the defendant had previously been convicted in a separate proceeding of joyriding, which was a lesser included offense of auto theft. Brown v. Ohio, supra, at 169.
We do not believe, however, that the principles of finality and prevention of prosecutorial overreaching applied in Brown reach this case. No interest of respondent protected by the Double Jeopardy Clause is implicated by continuing prosecution on the remaining charges brought in the indictment. Here respondent offered only to resolve part of the charges against him, while the State objected to disposing of any of the counts against respondent without a trial. Respondent has not been exposed to conviction on the charges to which he pleaded not guilty, nor has the State had the opportunity to marshal its evidence and resources more than once or to hone its presentation of its case through a trial. The acceptance of a guilty plea to lesser included offenses while charges on the greater offenses remain pending, moreover,
We think this is an even clearer case than Jeffers v. United States, 432 U.S. 137 (1977), where we rejected a defendant's claim of double jeopardy based upon a guilty verdict in the first of two successive prosecutions, when the defendant had been responsible for insisting that there be separate rather than consolidated trials. Here respondent's efforts were directed to separate disposition of counts in the same indictment where no more than one trial of the offenses charged was ever contemplated. Notwithstanding the trial court's acceptance of respondent's guilty pleas, respondent should not be entitled to use the Double Jeopardy Clause as a sword to prevent the State from completing its prosecution on the remaining charges.
For the foregoing reasons we hold that the Double Jeopardy Clause does not prohibit the State from continuing its prosecution of respondent on the charges of murder and aggravated robbery.
It is so ordered.
In my view, the judgment of the Ohio Supreme Court with respect to the aggravated robbery charge rests on independent and adequate state grounds. I agree with the Court, however, that continued prosecution of respondent on the charge of murder after respondent pleaded guilty to the charge of involuntary manslaughter was not barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause.
JUSTICE STEVENS, with whom JUSTICE MARSHALL joins, dissenting.
A conviction based on a plea of guilty has the same legal effect as a conviction based on a jury's verdict. The conviction in this case authorized the State of Ohio to place respondent in prison for several years. As the Court expressly recognizes, "the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits prosecution of a defendant for a greater offense when he has already been . . . convicted on the lesser included offense." Ante, at 501. That statement fits this case precisely. Since it is a correct statement of the law, I would affirm the judgment of the Supreme Court of Ohio insofar as it denied the State the right to prosecute respondent on the charge of murder.
"(A) No person shall purposely cause the death of another.
"(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of murder, and shall be punished as provided in section 2929.02 of the Revised Code." Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2903.02 (1982).
"(A) No person shall cause the death of another as a proximate result of the offender's committing or attempting to commit a felony.
"(B) No person shall cause the death of another as a proximate result of the offender's committing or attempting to commit a misdemeanor.
"(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Violation of division (A) of this section is a felony of the first degree. Violation of division (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree." Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2903.04 (1982 and Supp. 1983).
"(A) No person, in attempting or committing a theft offense as defined in section 2913.01 of the Revised Code, or in fleeing immediately after such attempt or offense, shall do either of the following:
"(1) Have a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance . . . on or about his person or under his control;
"(2) Inflict, or attempt to inflict serious physical harm on another.
"(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of aggravated robbery, a felony of the first degree." Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2911.01 (1982 and Supp. 1983).
"(A) No person, with purpose to deprive the owner of property or services, shall knowingly obtain or exert control over either:
"(1) Without the consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
"(2) Beyond the scope of the express or implied consent of the owner or person authorized to give consent;
"(3) By deception;
"(4) By threat.
"(B) . . . If the value of the property or services stolen is one hundred fifty dollars or more, or if the property stolen is any of the property listed in section 2913.71 of the Revised Code, or if the offender has previously been convicted of a theft offense, a violation of this section is grand theft, a felony of the fourth degree." Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2913.02 (1982 and Supp. 1983).
Here, that presumption must be applied in light of the syllabus rule of the Ohio Supreme Court, which provides that the holding of the case appears in the syllabus, since that is the only portion of the opinion on which a majority of the court must agree. See State ex rel. Donahey v. Edmondson, 89 Ohio St. 93, 105 N. E. 269 (1913); see also Perkins v. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co., 342 U.S. 437, 441-442 (1952). But Ohio courts do not suggest that the opinion is not germane to interpreting the court's holding as expressed in its syllabus. Hart v. Andrews, 103 Ohio St. 218, 221, 132 N. E. 846, 847 (1921). Indeed, where the grounds of the decision are not clearly predicated on state law, we have felt compelled to examine the opinion below to determine whether the Ohio Supreme Court may have ruled differently if it "had felt free, under our decisions, to do so." Perkins, supra, at 443.
A review of the court's syllabus indicates that the court did not articulate an independent state-law ground for the decision. The first part of the syllabus refers to state law in determining that, as allied offenses, the State may only obtain convictions on either aggravated robbery or grand theft, but not both. But the syllabus does not explain why the State may not continue to press forward with its prosecution of respondent for aggravated robbery, since the multicount statute that bars multiple convictions for allied offenses plainly admits to the possibility that the State may prosecute allied offenses in a single prosecution. See Ohio Rev. Code. Ann. § 2941.25 (1982 and Supp. 1983). A look at the opinion accompanying the syllabus, however, shows that the judge writing the opinion believed that continued prosecution of respondent on the remaining charges was proscribed by the double jeopardy protection against multiple punishments. 6 Ohio St. 3d, at 421, 453 N. E. 2d, at 597. The federal ground for the court's decision affirming the dismissal of the murder charge is much easier to discern, since the text of the court's syllabus refers directly to the prohibition against double jeopardy. Although the court's reference to double jeopardy might arguably be to the Ohio version, see Ohio Const., Art. I, § 10, the failure to indicate clearly that state double jeopardy protection was being invoked, when coupled with the references in the opinion to our decisions in North Carolina v. Pearce, 395 U.S. 711 (1969), and Ashe v. Swenson, supra, convinces us that the Ohio Supreme Court based its decision on its interpretation of the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment as applied to the States by the Fourteenth Amendment.